Saturday, April 30, 2005

What You Never Heard About Hannibal

No, not the cannibal, the Admiral who crossed the Alps. So what did he do? Hannibal had his sailors toss earthenware jars containing deadly vipers onto the decks of enemy ships. The enemy was more crossed than the Alps by this and Hannibal won the day against the greater forces of Pergamum. Hannibal, it turns out, eventually committed suicide with poison carried in his ring rather than face Roman surrender around 182 BC. If you're a Vin Diesel fan, he's directing and acting in the latest Hannibal movie due next year.

May's issue of National Geographic focuses on poison and the cover story is Poison: 12 Toxic Tales. The magazine devotes about 30 pages for the article and the usual, stunning photography. For another review of the feature try Peter Carlson's article in the Washington Post from April 26th, Deadly Poisons and Their Known Anecdotes National Geographic Explores a Quieter Way to Kill.

Carlson notes: People who poison their victims are different from folks who shoot, stab or strangle their victims. "Often you are dealing with a family situation," says Poklis, a Medical Examiner. "It happens over a period of months or a year. The perpetrator is taking care of the victim, watching him die. Poison is the weapon of controlling, sneaky people with no conscience, no sorrow, no remorse." This is almost exactly what the civilized world said about submarines in the WW1 era, and (for Chapomatic, who informs) their crews also smelled pretty bad.


At 04 May, 2005 22:27, Blogger Chap said...

Fascinating stuff there, and thanks for the link!

You're right, new ways of warfare are often seen as "foul play". I didn't know about the ring...


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